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Slow cooker cranberry apple cider in a clear mug.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider is simple to make, sweet, and delicious. This welcoming, spiced hot beverage makes the whole house smell amazing, too.
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 244kcal


  • 64 ounces apple juice
  • 32 ounces cranberry juice cocktail (see note 1)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (see note 2)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (see note 3)
  • 12 whole cloves (see note 4)
  • Apple slices and fresh cranberries, for garnish, optional


  • To a slow cooker, and apple juice, cranberry juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves. Float apple slices and fresh cranberries on top if desired.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH until hot about 3 to 4 hours. Turn heat down to "warm" and serve.


  1. Cranberry juice: You can use 100% cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail (the cocktail is a prettier color but has added sugar).
  2. Sugar: My recipe has 2 cups, but you can add it to taste. Brown sugar is fine, too.  Or Substitute 6 to 10 packets or teaspoons of Splenda OR Stevia, but taste it along the way so you don't go overboard.
  3. Cinnamon sticks: Or substitute 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (One 3-inch cinnamon stick = 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon).
  4. Whole cloves: Or substitute 1 teaspoon ground cloves (3 whole cloves  = 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves).
  5. Apple slices or fresh cranberries: For garnish. I like to slice the apples sideways through the core so the seeds look like stars.
  6. Yield: One recipe makes 96 ounces, enough for twelve 8-ounce servings.
  7. Make ahead: You can make it the day before, but then you'd need to reheat it, so it's not absolutely necessary. Reheat the cider on the stove and transfer to the crockpot to speed things along.
  8. Storage: Store leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy within the week.
  9. Stove-top: Add the ingredients to a large pot and heat over medium-high heat until hot, about 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to warm and serve with a ladle and mugs closely so everyone can help themselves. Or, transfer to a slow cooker to keep warm all day long.
  10. Make it a cocktail: Looking for some hard cider this holiday season? Stir in 1 or 2 cups of your favorite alcohol such as spiced rum, cinnamon schnapps, brandy or bourbon. Stir the alcohol in after you heat the cider and reduce the temperature to warm; you don't want it to boil off. Or place a bottle nearby and let everyone tipple as they see fit.
  11. Apple cider: You can make this recipe with real apple cider, too. It will taste great, but it will be cloudy from the fruit solids.
  12. Sugared cranberries: For extra sparkle at the holidays, soak the cranberries in simple syrup, let dry, then roll in sugar.


Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 173mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg